|Sunday, May 23, 2004|
FIVE thousand years ago Giza, situated on Nile’s west bank, became the royal necropolis, or burial place, for Memphis, the capital city of the pharaoh. Today, Giza is a suburb of rapidly growing Cairo, the largest city in Africa and the fifth largest in the world.
We were staying in Hotel Safir, a five star complex
in Giza, Cairo, where pyramids are situated. Egyptian Pyramids, one of
the Seven Wonders of the world. About 2550 BC, king Khufu, the second
pharaoh of the fourth dynasty, commissioned the building of his tomb at
Giza. Some Egyptologists believe it took 10 years just to build the ramp
that leads from the Nile valley floor to the pyramid and 20 years to
construct the pyramid itself. Many
The Nile was used to transport supplies and building materials.
The outer casing stones have disappeared from all
three pyramids except the very top of Khafre’s. Precious white
limestone was torn away from the faces of the pyramids and used in the
construction of buildings in Cairo. Limestone was quarried from the Giza
pyramids for the construction of buildings in Cairo. Giza’s pyramids
are oriented to face the four cardinal directions: true North, South,
East and West.
The first Pyramid was built by King Khufu, the son of King Sneferu and Queen Hetpeheres. He was the one to initiate pyramid building at Giza. The base of the pyramid is 13 square acres, average weight of individual blocks of stone 2.5 tonne, height 449 feet and the construction material was limestone, granite. The second Pyramid was built by King Khafre the son of Khufu. He was responsible for the second-largest pyramid complex at Giza, which includes the Sphinx, a Mortuary Temple, and a Valley Temple. Khafre may be best known for his statues and most famous among them is the Sphinx.The third Pyramid: Menkaure the grandson of is credited with making the third pyramid, the smallest of the three at Giza.
The Sphinx: Made by King Khafre, who also made the second pyramid, the Sphinx has the body of a lion and the head of a Pharaoh i.e. Khafre. Carved from the natural limestone of Giza, the Sphinx has disintegrated over the years. Its width is 20 feet, the total height 66 feet and 30 feet height from chin to head. The construction material is soft limestone.
A visit to these pyramids was exciting, entertaining, informative and a fulfilment of a childhood dream.